SCREAM 4

Not the genius re-imagining of the franchise one hoped for, but still
fun. The original Scream was a post-modern romp that turned into a
bevy of self-referencing post-post-modern follow-ups, not to mention
key parts of the Scary Movie series. 15 years later, what we get is
pretty much the same old with a new cast (plus of course some key
holdovers) that makes us long for the originals who are no longer
around. Rory Culkin, for example — good in everything he does —
can't (along with his partner-in-movie-geekdom Erik Knudsen) dispel
our longing for Jamie Kennedy and Matthew Lillard. The joke within a
joke within a joke opening is entertaining enough, but a bit stale by
now to offer up right out of the gate; it lets you know early on that
you're not going to leave the theatre giddy with having seen something
entirely fresh. Points go to Courtney Cox and David Arquette for jokes
lampooning their real-life marriage — and to Courtney for playing off
her Cougartown persona; she and Neve Campbell, it should be said, look
notably older. It's left to Emma Roberts to give the performance by a
younger cast member that stands out, especially at the end, with
bracing malice. — Jeff Schultz

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